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cholla

[chohl-yah, -yuh; Spanish chaw-yah] /ˈtʃoʊl yɑ, -yə; Spanish ˈtʃɔ yɑ/
noun, plural chollas
[chohl-yahz, -yuh z; Spanish chaw-yahs] /ˈtʃoʊl yɑz, -yəz; Spanish ˈtʃɔ yɑs/ (Show IPA)
1.
any of several spiny treelike cacti belonging to the genus Opuntia, especially O. fulgida of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, having knobby outgrowths and yellow spines.
Origin of cholla
1855-1860
1855-60, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish cholla head (perhaps < Old French (dial.) cholle ball < Gmc); see keel1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cholla
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Man and his domestic animals fear cholla more than any other plant on the desert!

    The Fantastic Clan John James Thornber
  • Among these the cholla is at once one of the most fascinating and the most exasperating.

    The Book of the National Parks Robert Sterling Yard
  • The flowers of this cholla are of yellowish and red shadings, appearing mostly at the tips of the branches.

    The Fantastic Clan John James Thornber
  • cholla (Opuntia fulgida) ranges from Nevada southward into Mexico.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • An occasional cholla may bloom for the second day, but this is a very uncommon occurrence.

    The Fantastic Clan John James Thornber
  • So if you are to see this phenomenon you will have to be on time, for cholla never wait.

    The Fantastic Clan John James Thornber
  • The flowers of this cholla are borne at the tips of the joints and are pale green suffused with purple.

    The Fantastic Clan John James Thornber
  • The dried heaps of cholla stirred as if unseen paws had pressed them.

    The Heart of the Desert Honor Willsie Morrow
  • As they reached the open trail, thrush and to-hee fluttered from the cholla.

    The Heart of the Desert Honor Willsie Morrow
British Dictionary definitions for cholla

cholla

/ˈtʃəʊljɑː; Spanish ˈtʃoʎa/
noun
1.
any of several spiny cacti of the genus Opuntia that grow in the southwestern US and Mexico and have cylindrical stem segments See also prickly pear
Word Origin
Mexican Spanish, from Spanish: head, perhaps from Old French (dialect) cholle ball, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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11
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